Being pretty type-A, I like to have a plan, a schedule, a to-do list, and a timeline for just about everything. My friends and coworkers laugh at my neat checklists in my notebooks and the unadulterated joy I get out of having a paper calendar that I can write on (iPhone calendars are overrated IMO). That being said, sometimes it’s nice to let your hair down and just not have a plan, which is what led to my favorite travel memory of all time.
My friend, Marissa, and I were on the Amsterdam, Paris, and London trip with College Break back in 2013. In Paris, we had our tickets for the Louvre in hand and a plan to get an epic selfie with the Mona Lisa in our minds. Once we got into the Louvre however, all plans fell through because it is so. darn. crowded. Beautiful, impressive and worth it, but hotter than Channing Tatum in a Winnie the Pooh costume and packed. After securing our selfie, we were out of there.
But what to do now? A whole afternoon in a foreign country where neither of us speak a lick of French. Grab some wine, that’s what.
We hopped on the Metro and headed to Montmartre for lunch and had a glass of wine with our meal. We ambled through the hilly neighborhood, past the rows of shops and street artists, hopped back on the Metro and found another cafe…with more wine, because why not?
By the end of our impromptu cafe-crawl, Marissa and I were yucking it up with the cafe staff, trying our best to communicate without butchering their language too badly, but in reality, the liquid confidence probably bolstered our egos.
Around 9pm, we were teetering on hangry. We decided to make our way back toward our hotel in effort to not get lost too lost, and stumbled upon a little creperie. The sign on the door said they were closing at 10pm, but the one man working inside ushered us in.
This guy did not speak any English, but was the nicest person I met during the course of our trip. I felt like Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” when all the French cutlery and plates of food start singing to her. This guy really wanted us to be his guest. Marissa and I went to town on some crepes, bid our friend adieu and wandered home for an early night in.
The moral of the story is that no matter how structured you like to be in your travels. Don’t forget to leave room for adventure. Obviously, make smart choices and stay safe, but you never know how much fun you can have if you just choose to live a little.
Get to Paris for your own wine crawl here: Amsterdam, Paris & London, Grand Tour of Europe, London & Paris Escape